Australia‘s Kostya Tszyu is elated at being chosen for International Boxing Hall of Fame induction in a heavy-hitting 2010 trio with Mike Tyson and Julio Cesar Chavez.
The coveted recognition comes just five years after Tszyu’s last fight – despite his on-going reluctance to confirm retirement – and is reward for a career which saw him rule the world’s junior welterweight ranks for almost half a decade.
Inductees were voted on by members of the Boxing Writers Association of America and a panel of international boxing historians.
Tszyu was chosen along with Tyson, whose reign as the globe’s most feared heavyweight was followed by an epic fall from grace, and Mexican three-division champion Chavez.
“This is unbelievably great news.” Tszyu said. “I’m actually speechless. I can’t describe my feelings.
“My job was to make sure the people enjoyed themselves when they were watching me and I spent all my life doing so.
“I still continue to be involved in boxing to this day because boxing has been so great to me.
“To be inducted next to Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Roberto Duran and Jeff Fenech, who’s a good friend of mine, is a huge, huge honour.”
Russian-born Tszyu emigrated to Australia in 1991 with a vast amateur career behind him and turned pro to assemble a 31-2 record with 25 knockouts.
He became the unified world champion with a second-round TKO of Zab Judah in 2001 and also garnered notable wins over Chavez, Sharmba Mitchell, Calvin Grove, Roger Mayweather and Rafael Ruelas.
Mexican trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain, referee Joe Cortez, and screenwriter and actor Sylvester Stallone were also honoured with Hall of Fame selection.
Buford Balony says: Good decision by boxing authorities for once.